Posts tagged coconut
Silver Palate Carrot Cake - American Cake - Right On
Three giant layers of carrot cake! 

This recipe is a lot like my forever carrot cake but this one is in the book American Cakes.
Angie asked for carrot cake for her birthday and she loves coconut, so okay here we go. It's now going to be my future carrot cake! So good!
BTW, this is not in order or publication in the book...I know.

Carrot Cake
1 pound carrots, before you pare the tops
1.5 cup walnuts
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking soda
1.5 cup canola oil
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1.5 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
8 ounce can of crushed pineapple

Line 3 9-inch pans with parchment and spray liberally.
Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Toast the walnuts.
Grate the carrots and simmer in water for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
Combine flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in bowl. In a mixing bowl combine oil and sugar. Cream. Add the eggs and vanilla. Into the wet mixture add the flour mixture. Once combined add carrots, walnuts and pineapple. Scrape the bowl. Divide batter equally between all three pans.

Bake 45-55 minutes until when you test it with a tester and it comes out clean. They will be darkish when done. Run a knife around the parameter of the pan before cooling.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
7 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange

Cream the butter and cream cheese until there are no lumps. Add the remaining ingredients. Whip until smooth.



Coconut Layer Cake and Seven (14) Minute Frosting - American Cake
I always imagined coconut layer cake would taste this good! 
I think this is a new Christmas Classic for my family. I made it for Christmas dinner not really knowing if we had any anti-coconutters or even if I was going to be able to pull it off. With all the holiday running, (Ohio to Michigan to Illinois back to Ohio) I didn't leave myself any spare time or ingredients if this failed. I knew that there would be cookies and candies because it's Christmas and my people bring sweets, so if it did fail we wouldn't be bereft.

But was a success. Not just a little, like that didn't stink, but like, "OH MY GOSH IT LOOKS LIKE A PICTURE!" success. I'm my worst critic but I too was tickled with the way this turned out. 

The cake: This can be anyone's perfect yellow cake. It's soft and has good flavor. It's the cake the box mixes are trying to be, but it is 100% more delicious. 

The icing: I learned after making the frosting it can be tricky. It was tricky. What I would do differently is use a thermometer to check the temperature of the mixture. Having read a few more recipes after the fact I would have saved some anxiety if I knew certainly that I got the mixture up to 160 degrees. 

The cake: 
3-9 inch layer pans prepped. 

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

325 degree oven
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla. 
Sift the soda into the flour. Add the 1/3 the flour, 1/2 the buttermilk, scrape down the sides, a second third of the flour and the last of the buttermilk, ending with the flour, scraping between all the additions. Mix well. 

Beat the eggwhites in a separate bowl. Fold a third of the egg whites into the flour mixture thoroughly. Gently add the remaining eggwhite, blending so well, but as minimally as possible as to not deflate the eggs. Distribute evenly between the pans. Bake 22+ minutes until a tester comes out cleanly. 
Run a knife around the edge of the pan then allow them to cool completely. 

Seven (14 really) Minute Frosting

2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1.5 cups granulated sugar
5 tablespoons water
1.5 teaspoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Using a double boiler, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, water and corn syrup in a non reactive bowl that fits for the double boiler. Mix with a handheld mixer on high for 4 minutes. Set over the water and mix for 7 minutes on high speed. See that the eggs get to 160 degrees, don't let the pan touch the water, however. Remove the pan from the water and beat an additional 3 or 4 minutes until it is cool and voluminous. 

Use immediately. 

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (from a natural or import store, generally). 

Combine the two coconuts. 
Lay out the first layer of cake on a cake plate. Spread enough frosting to cover lightly. Sprinkle coconut. Set the second layer on top the first and repeat. Top with the third layer and frost the top and sides. Sprinkle with the coconut mixture and press coconut into the sides of the cake. 


Lamingtons
Successful Lamington 
The Daring Baker's Challenge challenged me once again.

This was a fun history filled baking adventure. Apparently Australia and New Zealand have had some knock out, throw down punches over where the recipe was created but most people put it to Australia. And it's named after a historic figure who wanted cake that didn't sully his fingers. Imagine, to have a cake named after you. Wouldn't that be a thing?

Regardless the challenge for me was getting the guys covered in chocolate without them falling apart. I had to use my experience in cake making to go after a well crafted, not too soft cake, because some cake just doesn't take kindly to handling.

Generally the Daring Bakers give you 100% failproof recipes, but there was debate over cornflour/cornstarch and how the Aussies' might be different than the American's. I didn't want to risk it. This time the challenged allowed for using any recipe, so long as it was dipped in chocolate and rolled in dessicated coconut. So I went after a few. My first go round was a disaster. I will not being sharing pictures.

The one you see pictured below is the Joy of Baking.com Lamington recipe. I doubled mine to make a 13x9 sized cake, tall. Below are the  measurements I used:

For the cake

3 cups flour
Twenty-four Lamingtons! 
1 tablespoon baking powder
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Frosting

4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
0.33 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons butter, melted
0.5 cup milk

1 pound dessicated grated (not sweetened, shredded) coconut

13x9 pan, lined with parchment and sprayed. Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla. Add the flour and milk in third, alternating between the two and scraping after each addition. Mix for an additional minute.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out cleanly.

Cool. Cut into 24-2 inch cubes.

Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, melted butter and milk in a bowl. Put over water on the stove to double boil. The frosting should look like thick syrup.

Put a wire rack over a cookie pan (more to control the mess). Pour coconut into a shallow dish. Using 2 forks plop the cake into the frosting and turn it quickly to cover all 6 sides of the cube. Pull it out, balancing on a fork and allow it to drip briefly. Place it in the coconut and using 2 other forks, flick the coconut up onto the cube. Roll it around until all 6 sides are well coconutted. Place on rack to dry.

Once dry you can individually wrap the cakes. Chill until they are ready to eat.

And a shout out to my co-worker Paul Ross, an Australian man who took 20 minutes out of his very busy day to chat up Lamingtons and all the details a person might need to make them successfully. He gave these a passing grade, so I'll take it!